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The Edain Mod aims to take you deeper into Middle-Earth than ever before and turn the Battle for Middle-Earth II into a game worthy of Tolkien's books and Peter Jackson's movies. In our quest for lore accuracy, visual quality and deeper gameplay, we overhauled every aspect of the original game to craft a new and immersive Lord of the Rings experience.
While the One Ring has no lord but Sauron, there have always been those who sought to use its power for their own ends. In Edain, you no longer bring the Ring to your fortress to unlock just Sauron or Galadriel. Instead, you can give it directly to select heroes who will attempt to draw upon its powers, with varying consequences. Each faction has different Ring Heroes, allowing you to discover what could have been if Saruman the White had attained the One Ring, or if Denethor and Boromir had foolishly decided to use it as a weapon against the Enemy...
The fate of Middle-Earth has always been shaped by great heroes and villains, many of which never appeared in a Battle for Middle-Earth game before. Edain gives you the opportunity to stand in battle with new heroes like Thorin Oakenshield and his companions, Beregond and Imrahil or the sons of Elrond. Those with evil in their hearts may instead choose to share in the power of villains like Smaug or the Necromancer of Dol Guldur...
Furthermore, every existing hero has received new abilities and mechanics to more accurately represent his role in the books and movies. Aragorn, for instance, will start out as the ranger Strider and go from the defender of Helm's Deep to King Elessar of Gondor over the course of the game, gaining new abilities each time he takes a new step towards his destiny. Similiarly, Theoden will now accurately transform from a defeated pawn under Saruman's control to the heroic king who fought on the Pelennor fields.
Rohan and Lothlorien have been split from the Gondor and Rivendell factions to form new factions in their own right. The Rohirrim are a people of riders, evidenced by their powerful cavalry units, including the Royal Guard. Their infantry and archery are poor, but they can receive signifant aid from the inn by recruiting Elven archers and Druadan warriors. The Woodland Realm, on the other hand, lacks cavalry altogether. To compensate, they rely on unorthodox tactics such as stealth, speed and elven magic coupled with their formidable archers. They cannot easily expand their base, but all buildings are manned by archers to keep invaders at bay. Units like the animal empaths, who slow down enemy cavalry, and elven chanters, who support your army through their songs, provide veterans with exciting new strategies to master. Both factions also come with a completely unique set of spells, including powerful finishers like the Rohan spell, Last March of the Ents, which summons Treebeard and a host of Ents to your side.
All factions have been expanded with a large array of new units. Among them are the Gondor Citadel Guard, Lurtz's Uruk Scouts, Haldir's Galadhrim from the Battle for Helm's Deep and Orcs of Minas Morgul. All in all, Edain allows you to assemble your forces from a pool of twice as many units as before.
Furthermore, almost all existing units and heroes have received visual overhauls to eliminate issues like golden armor on Orcs and bring the visual style closer to the movies. For example, Aragorn will now wield the actual Anduril blade upon purchasing the respective spell instead of getting an exaggerated blue glow around his sword. Head to our gallery for more examples of the improvements we have made.
Follow your destiny... Middle-Earth awaits.
Today, we would like to present you another reworked faction in the new version Edain 4.0. The concept of this faction has caused us much trouble, because we needed a concept that's not only up to the high standard of our fans and ourselves, but also recaptures the gameplay and atmosphere of Battle for Middle-Earth I. We already showed you some pictures and promised to present a full concept update later. Today, we would like to make good on that promise.
Isengard has been a huge problem in version 3.81, simply overwhelming other factions with its massively superior economy. Also, the fundamental gameplay was another factor frustrating the players. So, we decided to restructure some parts of this faction, mainly concerning the economy. In version 4.0, we decided that every faction should have the same initial situation regarding their economy. So, Isengarts furnaces and other resource buildings will level up in the normal way and due to the now limited number of build plots, you won't be able to build an endless number of them. The old furnace-defence-ring will be gone, but nevertheless, we know that Isengards industry is an important identification criteria of this faction. Thus, the spellbook will still contain many ways of boosting your economy.
Furthermore, the entire faction will be held together by a greater theme of upgrading and maximizing every part of your base and army, slowly building an ever-expanding machinery of war from nothing. Many of Isengard's structures will gain especially powerful bonuses at higher levels and the faction will make us of several unique upgrades. However, to balance this out, their structures are often less efficient or narrower in function at rank one than those of other factions and the upgrades often require special attention to use correctly. We want to keep Isengard's identity and strenghts, but make it more challenging (and therefore also more rewarding) for players to access them. This will result in a fairer and more enjoyable experience for both Isengard and their enemies.
We have also decided to go back to the roots in one important aspect. Until now, Isengards early game has been dominated by the wildmen of Dunland and an ever increasing economy, followed by an invincible army of Uruk-Hai. Unfortunately, this concept was only good in theory, but in the real game it failed on many levels. The enormously efficient economy just made Isengard impossible to deal with against a skilled a player, and the Dunlendings were powerful enough that you didn't even need the Uruk-Hai in many cases - even though they should have a central role in the faction. In 4.0, we tried to solve this problem, therefore, Uruk-Hai will be the standard infantry of Isengard again, as it was in Battle for Middle-Earth I, and the wildmen of Dunland will be available as a fast and cheap support you can recruit on external settlement plots.
The starting units of Isengard will be the Uruk-Scouts, available for little money in the Uruk Pit. Following the concept of the films, these Scouts can be used for exploring and disrupting your enemies. Later, the player can recruit the armed Uruk-Hai, which can be upgraded with the normal upgrades of the faction. We made the decision against orc warriors as Isengards starting unit for obvious reasons. We know that there have been orcs in Isengard, but these orcs were nothing more than workers and labourers. They were never used in any battle. So, all the animations inside and outside the Isengard buildings will shown by orcs.
Now that we have outlined our core vision for the faction, let's get down to details!
The Mineshaft is a new building of Isengard, which is available in the base as well as on settlements. The mineshaft produces resources and reduces the costs of Uruks, excluding Scouts.
This building will give the player the opportunity of creating the effect of “shafts” all around his camp as in the Lord of the Rings movies. In the team and in the community there has been the wish of creating the whole Isengard camp underground, but we have to admit that this is not implementable. Also, having a shaft as the basic building, which can be upgraded to any other building was an idea, which caused many problems and difficulties. So, we decided to create this specific mineshaft building for Isengard instead, including the desired elements.
Furnaces reduce the cost of all unit upgrades. They level automatically by producing resources and can't be leveled by upgrading any more. Unlike other economy structures, they only reduce the cost of upgrades once they reach rank three, but their cost reduction is more significant to compensate. This emphasizes Isengard's theme of building towards the most powerful industry in Middle-Earth.
The Uruk-Pit can only recruit Scouts at rank one. In Edain 4.0, recruitment structures won't level up through upgrades, but gain experience for every unit recruited like they did in the first Battle for Middle-Earth. That way, the player has to train a small force of scouts to get access to the normal Uruks. This should symbolize Isengard's development and should guarantee that Isengard won't get to strong in the Early Game. Of course the Uruk-Pit will level fast enough so the player won't have to miss the normal Uruks too long.
-Scouts of Isengard (Level 1)
- Uruk-Hai (Level 2)
- Uruk-Crossbowmen (Level 2)
- Uruk-Pikemen (Level 2)
- Shield Uruks (Level 3)
- Berserker (Level 3)
In the next version, Scouts will be the starting infantry of Isengard and available without limitation. For this reason it was necessary to rework them. In the Early Game, Scouts will primary be melee units. They can't switch permanently to their bows yet, but they can frequently fire a single salvo of arrows. Later they will get access to their bows. Their upgrades don't increase their raw power as much as Forged Blades and Heavy Armor would, but they do make them more effective against heroes, powerful single units and enemy archers. However, using those upgrades to their full potential will require special attention. Our goal is to encourage the player to maintain a small force of scouts and allow your starting units to still be useful later in the game while at the same making sure that the bulk of your army will consist of the more all-purpose Uruk-Hai units. Scouts have access to the following abilities and upgrades:
-Hunting Arrows: The scouts fire a single salvo at target enemy, slowing it by 40% for 20 seconds. After using the ability, Scouts move 20% faster for 10 seconds.
-Shield Upgrade (Requirement Ugluk is on the battlefield) Arms the Scout horde with shields, increasing their armour against arrows, elemental and magic damage by 75%. Meele attacks reduce the damage dealt by enemies by 75% (against heroes 35%) for 3 seconds.
-Huntmaster (Requirement Lurtz is on the battlefield) Levels the Scouts to level 2 and allows them to use their bows permanently. Also, the ability Hunting Arrows reduces the attack speed of enemy archers by 80% and doubles the scouts' damage for a short time.
Uruk-Captains have been causing problems for some versions. Their handling was more laborious than their profit. For this reason Uruk-Captains won't be a recruitable unit any more, but a special upgrade, which can be researched in the Armory. You can buy this upgrade for any unit with a banner carrier, thus bringing it to its maximum level immediately and replacing the banner carrier with a powerful Uruk Captain. Also, the unit will be permanently resistant to fear.
Furthermore, you might see another change in this images that we did not announce yet. We re-established the small dots and stars over a unit to allow you to immediately see its level.
The Warg Pit contains in total 3 different kinds of Warg Riders. These are not completely different units, but you can breed a stronger type of Warg Riders every time your pit levels up. Once again, Isengard gains special bonuses at higher ranks, but the first type of Warg Rider is a rather weak cavalry unit.
-Mountain Warg Riders (only level 1): Orcs on wild wargs.
-Brood Warg Riders (only level 2): Orcs on Wargs bred in the pits of Isengard, being more disciplined.
-Sharku's Warg Riders(only level 3): Sharkû's personal band of Warg Riders from Isengard. They steal life from their enemies with every attack and transfer it to themselves.
The Siegework will stay the same as in 3.81, providing powerful siege equipment at every level.
-Battering Ram (level 1)
-Ballista (level 1)
-Siege Ladder (level 2)
-Mine Berserker(level 3)
-Explosive Mine(level 3)
The Armory is one of the few structures of Isengard that can't level up. It is expensive to build, but can research all upgrades from the beginning.
Additionally to its known functions, the Lumbermill reduces the costs of buildings. Furthermore, it can get a bonus from the spellbook spell “Fuel the fires”.
The Clan Hut will be built on external settlements in version 4.0. The Clan Hut can recruit the wildmen of Dunland and their leader Wulfgar, but can not level. The men of Dunland did not hail from Isengard itself in the books as well as in the movies, so we decided that it would make sense to transfer this building to the settlements. Therefore the wildmen of Dunland won't be a main element of Isengards army, but still be a good supplement. Their role is to harass the enemy and plunder their resource structures, not provide your main fighting force.
Grishnákh and his Boys won't be recruitable any more, but replace the Dunland summon in the spellbook. This spell has been in the spellbook since Battle for Middle-Earth II, when the wildmen of Dunland were only available in the Inn, but as you can recruit them directly in Edain, it has been just an unnecessary duplication for a long time and it was long overdue to replace it.
Grishnákh has got a rework, too, being forbidden in every Multiplayer games. His new concept is based on a community idea drive, but as a spellbook hero he won't get a full ability set.
-Prepare an ambush: Grishnákh is hidden 10 seconds. In this time he can perform an ambush
-Incite: Grishnákh incites nearby allied units and heroes before a mission. For a short time, these get twice as much experience, but have 15% less armour.
-Scouting: Grishnákh orders two of his orcs, to stay back and watch the area. These orcs can not be controlled and cause no. A maximum of ten orcs can be sent scouting.
With his new concept, Grishnákh's is able to support allied troops, but more skill is needed to deal with enemy heroes and use the full potential of this hero. We hope this rework will both increase the popularity of Grishnákh as well as correctly presenting his background, due to being rather a servant of Sauron than one of Saruman.
The citadel is the main building of Isengard. In contrast to other factions, Isengard has not only the possibility to recruit their heroes in the citadel, but to research faction specific upgrades, too. These upgrades will advance your economy as well as granting more tactical possibilities. Additionally, Saruman will be able to enter this building to cast spells from its top.
Creating a design for this building was very difficult. First of all, this building should not look like the Orthanc, because the Orthanc is a unique building only existing in Isengard itself. Also, the citadel should fit to the design of the other buildings and lastly, would Saruman enter any rickety wood tower, built by orc scum?
Our result is the design you can see below. The player starts with a simple wood tower which can be improved by diverse upgrades. Every upgrade changes the design of the building a bit, especially the Wizard Tower upgrade which completely replaces it with a completely different tower, built of black shining stones like those which were used for the Orthanc. This tower looks quite similar to the Orthanc, but main differences as the shape of the tower, allow no doubt that this is not the Orthanc itself, but a replica. Furthermore, to include the element of shafts, as seen in the movie, the tower rises from an industrial pit which will be filled with diverse elements as soon as an upgrade is purchased. So, Isengard is the only faction having the possibility to massively improve their citadel and making it an active element in the game.
The following upgrades are available in the citadel:
-Murder of Crows: The player can temporary summon some Crebain.
-War Machinery: Reduces the cost of all machines - 1 citadel 10%, 2 citadels 20%, 3 citadels 25%
-Burning Forges: Reduces the cost of all Isengard Upgrades - 1 citadel 10%, 2 citadels 20%, 3 citadels 25%
-Wizard's Tower: Create a more powerful focus for Saruman's powers. Saruman can now use all of his abilities from the tower as if he were rank ten.
On the left image, you can see the citadel without any upgrade and on the right image with all it's upgrades. The image above shows the fully build up fortress.
Until now, Saruman's abilities on the tower and on ground were completely different. So, many players first used all his ground abilities, then entered the tower to use all of these abilities and then get back on the ground again. This was exactly the opposite of our intentions, so we had to find a solution linking both forms. Additionally to these troubles, there was the problem of his far too large number of abilities, many of which were overlapping. We decided to streamline him with a focus on his main characteristics without making his system far too complicated. The result was this concept:
Saruman won't have a palantir switch, so he won't overtax players with his complexity. Also, these abilities were too similar for being unique. For this reason, we removed the Toggle Button, the Leadership, Saruman's Words and the spell Curunir. Removing the toggle button gave us one more free slot. His resource ability will be represented by the spellbook spell Industry, so we got another free slot. Saruman's Words was just a copy of his Wormtongue-ability and it even reduced the uniqueness of the Mouth of Sauron. So it made sense to delete this ability, too. Afterwards, we had few enough abilities to combine them in one Palantir.
The only problem left was his ability set on the tower. These abilities were both too numerous to be manageable as well as overlapping between each other. These chunks of ice, falling on the fellowship, were they really summoned by Saruman, or has it rather been the thunderbolt destroying the mountain? If Saruman is able to cast a lightning on the ground, why does he also need a seperate avalanche spell? For these reasons, it was clear that it was necessary redistribute his abilities. Our solution was to give Saruman the same arsenal of five spells on the ground and on the tower, but with altered effects depending on where you use them.
From now on, Saruman has got the same set of abilities, both on the battlefield and on the Wizard's Tower, but with different effects. If Saruman uses his Wizard Blast on the ground, and then enters the Wizard's Tower, he will not be able use the Wizard Blast again, but has to wait until the reload time is over. And similiarly, if Saruman uses his Fireball on the tower, he will have to wait for the cooldown even when he leaves it and wants to use another Fireball back on the ground. Every ability is linked this way so you really have to decide how to use them instead of simply using both of them every time.
Saruman's abilities on the ground:
- Level 1: Wizard Blast - Close range attack that blasts back enemies
- Level 3: Power of speech – Saruman's voice increases the experience of all target units
- Level 5: Fireball - Throws a ball of fire at his enemies
- Level 7: Wormtongue - The White Wizard blinds his foes with his words and convinces them to fight for you for a time.
- Level 10: Thunderbolt – The Lord of Isengard calls down a single powerful lightning bolt on target enemy, dealing high damage and paralysing them for a short time
Saruman's abilities on the ground are quite offensive and helpful at the front. Not only, did we reposition his abilities, but also we reintroduced his ability set from Battle for Middle-Earth 2. However, each of them has a different effect when used from the tower.
Saruman's abilities on the tower:
- Level 1: Wizard Blast - Saruman throws all enemies in target area into the air
- Level 3: Power of speech - Saruman's voice increases the experience of the target building. This is particularly useful for Isengard with all their level bonuses. In particular, if the enemy destroys your Uruk Pit, you can level it back up again without having to recruit more scouts.
- Level 5: Fireball – Throws a ball of fire at his enemies. This Fireball deals less area damage than the one used on the ground, but is more effective against single targets
- Level 7: Wormtongue – The White Wizard tries to manipulate his enemies with his words with three different random outcomes:
1.Variant: The enemies of Isengard won't get manipulated
2.Variant: All enemy troops in the target area start to attack each other.
3.Variant: All enemy troops and heroes in the target area start to attack each other
- Level 10: Thunderbolt - Saruman conjures enormous thunderclouds which spread lightning bolts over his enemies, dealing low damage to a large number of foes. However, the storm is less powerful against single targets.
As you can see, he have kept the main elements of the Edain Saruman and gave him a history and gameplay fitting concept, improving the feel and the balance. Saruman will keep casting fireballs and thunderstorms as well as enhancing the industry and confusing his enemies, but has to be more thoughtful and clever about it. On the ground your arsenal is better suited for direct combat: Your Wormtongue ability has no random element to it and your Power of Speech upgrades your combat units directly. On the tower, you can defend and upgrade your base and send magic all over the map without danger. However, Saruman can't gain experience on the tower. We still wanted to give players the ability to choose which form they prefer though, so for extra money you can upgrade your tower and grant Saruman all of his abilities - but only as long as he remains in the tower. We hope that this will allow you a freedom of playstyle but also force you to think hard about you best want to use Saruman.
In this video, you can watch all the functions of Saruman closely:
In our opinion, Isengard's new concept allows the player to use more tactical opportunities and provides a smoother and more natural gameplay.
We hope that you enjoyed this preview and would like to read your opinion and feedback in the comment section!
Your Edain Team
Highest Rated (49 agree) 10/10
You could think im exxagerating the value of this mod,but i can only tell you : try with your hands. Edain mod is without any doubt the best RTS based on the LotR series,and,but this is just my opinion,the best RTS overall. While being much more true to tolkien than any other EA's work,it combines great complexity with good-balance in an excellent way. But what,above all things,makes this mod stand out are the models of the units,heroes and buildings,just take a look to the gallery on the site…
Oct 19 2010, 2:42pm by TheMost
Lowest Rated (12 agree) 5/10
Mordor and other evil factions are overpowered including their heroes and ringheroes. Especially Lorien and Imladris are too weak and their ringheros are not powerful enough to be ringheroes (and Galadriel is far too weak to be Galadriel. Make it to be like in the Lone Wolf mod: two palantir and stronger powers, etc.)... All ringheroes should be as powerful as Sauron, because now it's not fair. Almost all good factions are underpowered. Ents should be better than trolls (except armoured ones), because…
Oct 17 2012, 7:38am by TheLapari